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Cumbria ACC mentors other senior officers after completing Masters

Andrew Slattery says stepping away from operational side has allowed him to explore ethics of policing
Published - 02/12/2019 By - Gary Mason

Cumbria Assistant Chief Constable Andrew Slattery is now mentoring three other high ranking officers who have started policing degrees after completing his own MSc in Strategic Policing.

The 52-year-old officer already has a degree in sociology which he completed 29 years ago at Lancaster University.

Last week he was one of two people at the University of Cumbria to receive his MSc in policing. The other was a student who joined the police only last week and has a degree in policing plus a Masters.

As an officer with 28 years’ service, ACC Slattery says the two-year course has allowed him to step away from the operational side of the job and explore the ethics and fundamentals around police work.

“It has been of real benefit professionally and personally, helping to develop me,” he said. “At work, I’m very busy operationally, helping to run a large organisation. This has allowed me to step out of that operational side of things and come back to the fundamental issues about why we do what we do, the role of the police and ethical issues.”

He added: “It was a challenge coming back to academic study and writing after so long away. Academic study, research and presentations are different disciplines to what you may do in other parts of your life. You have to be disciplined to get back into the way of learning also, but it has really focused me.”

He also says combining the job and academic study is not as straightforward as some people might think. “For the first year of my master’s degree I was also going through a process at work to become Assistant Chief Constable. I was Detective Chief Superintendent (Head of Crime) at Cumbria Constabulary at the time, which is a demanding role in itself. Juggling work and study commitments can be difficult but it is possible and well worth the effort.”

ACC Slattery carried out research into career progression for men and women in the police service as part of his course. He is currently working with Dr Nicoletta Policek, University of Cumbria associate professor in policing and criminology.

He is pleased that colleagues and others have opportunities to further their careers and professional development.

“In the cathedral I was one of two graduating with an MSc in Strategic Policing. The other person was a young man who’d enrolled on it after immediately completing his policing degree and joined the police only last week. It was nice to see how the master’s degree is suitable for all, whether it is as you start out on your journey or are like me, someone with a lot of operational experience and who has enjoyed a varied career in the force.”

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